Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Crazy Ones

“If most of the class doesn’t get it, it is our responsibility. If 25 percent of the class doesn’t get it, it is still our responsibility. And if one child doesn’t get it, it remains our responsibility. It’s not about teaching the same lesson over and over again, because that doesn’t work. We need to redesign our lessons keeping in mind what we have learned from our kids and letting that information guide our instruction.”
When doing my reading for one of my classes I came across this quote and I realized just how true it is. In high school and elementary school even, I had lots of teachers who “taught to the test” or taught the same thing year after year. If a student of theirs did not understand or could not comprehend what was being taught? They would move on. These are the teachers that made me lose my passion for learning. My mom often told me as a child that I would not perform to my capabilities because I did not like the teacher. She was right. I knew it and I believe my teachers knew it as well. If a teacher was boring and uninteresting so was I. I was withdrawn from the class and did not care about my grades. It was these teachers that made me not want to become one myself. I was always afraid that if I did, I would have students just like myself and that I would become one of those boring, “by the book” teachers.
But then there were the good teachers, the ones that made learning a fun, memorable experience. The ones that pushed my thinking to the limits and the ones that made me anxious to learn more and more every single day. These are the teachers I aspire to be like. Growing up with a mother as a teacher I found myself surrounded by them. Often were the times I would come home from school and there would be a patio full of my former teachers outside. Laughing, talking, and acting like real people. Quietly I would slink outside and sit in a chair off a little ways from them; I would actively listen to their conversations for hours. Oh what it was like to hear from the inside of a teachers mind! They talked about test scores, and lesson plans, and things they had to do to get ready for the next day, however they also talked about their students, and how they could help their students. These teachers took the time to mention one kid out of their class to their peers because he/she was struggling and they wanted new ideas of how to catch them up.

So this is what it was like to be a teacher. These memories stuck with me from the time I was a child until now. To be a great teacher you have to have great students, and to have great students you have to make great efforts. It is all one cycle we have to follow, but only the crazy ones push it as far as they possibly can to make sure they are making a difference. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Who I am.

One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t forget where you came from, but never lose sight of where you are going.” This quote can be interpreted in so many different ways and I think that is what drew me to it. In this instance I interpreted it as meaning, learn from your past but never lose hope of what lies in the future. Sometimes, you have to learn from your past in more ways than one, and sometimes you don’t even realize what you are learning until it reveals itself all at once.
When you lose a best friend that you had growing up, you think it is the worst thing in the world. You don’t see how someone you loved and trusted for so many years could just turn their back on you so easily. It hurts, and it hurts a lot. You think that nothing will ever get any easier, and for a while it doesn't.  You have to learn to live your life in a completely different way. One without someone in it that you went to for everything, all of the sudden you feel like you have no one to turn to.
Sometimes this lasts for only a couple weeks, but other times it will last years.
 I lost my best friend at the very beginning of my freshman year of college. Ever since then I have felt like I would never be as close to someone as I was with that girl. But then I began to look around me and I saw the changes that happened right before my eyes that I never noticed before. I have amazing people surrounding me and in my life. Some have been there always and some are brand new. But they are the type of people that I know will stick around forever.
I am a junior in college and I am just starting to feel like I have found my place. I remember wandering around all through high school and some elementary school even, and always thinking I am not particularly extraordinary at anything. I was good at a lot of things, but nothing ever struck my interest and made me think “I was BORN to do this.” Now that I am in college and into my degree classes, I had that epiphany the first week of school. I was born to be a teacher. I love being around kids and I love learning new things, but most importantly I love being able to show things from a different viewpoint. One many might not have thought about before. It was then that I realized your friends, your true friends, are the ones that not only share your interests but also the things you believe in. They believe in other things too of course, and so do you, but you share a common thread that links you together. You share a passion. And that passion is what will bring you close to each other.

So all of those who feel like you haven’t found your place in this world, and the ones who feel like you have no friends. Just wait, your time will come and it will all be worth it. Trust me, I know. To those people who have been in my life all along and never given up on me. Thank you. You made me the person I am today. To the people who are new in my life, thank you. I know our adventure together is just beginning and I cannot wait to see where it takes us on this beautiful journey called life.